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Hepatitis B: mono vs. combo therapy.

In patients with hepatitis B e antigen--positive chronic hepatitis B, sustained viral response rates after discontinuing treatment were similar to those treated with pegylated interferon alfa-2b alone and those who received the interferon in combination with lamivudine, reported Harry L.A. Janssen, M.D., of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam (Netherlands), and his colleagues.

At the end of 52 weeks of treatment, hepatitis B e antigen was undetectable in significantly more patients in the combination therapy group (44%, 57 of 130) than in the monotherapy group (29%, 40 of 136). But 26 weeks after the end of treatment in the randomized, double-blind trial, the rate of sustained virologic response was similar in the monotherapy and combination-therapy patients (36% vs. 35%). The same trend in outcomes occurred when the investigators assessed hepatitis B virus DNA concentrations or alanine aminotransferase levels at the end of treatment and after follow-up (Lancet 2005;365:123-9).
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Title Annotation:CLINICAL CAPSULES
Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 15, 2005
Words:149
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